Sergio Martínez still dreams of a world title and aims for Golovkin
At 47, Sergio “Maravilla” Martínez still dreams with a world title and aims for Golovkin: “He can kill me, or I can give him a boxing lesson”
At 47 years old, and ranked third in AMB middleweight list, former world champion Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez is certain that in 2023 he will get a new opportunity to dispute a world title and he aims to challenge Gennady Golovkin, even if his life is at risk.
“If I can pick who to challenge, I would say Gennady Golovkin”, Sergio Martinez told IZQUIERDAZO. “Someone can tell me that Golovkin is going to kill me. Yes, I know he can kill me. Or not. I also know that I can give him a boxing lesson. I’m getting better everyday. I’m not getting as good as I was, I’m getting much better”.
Martinez reigned at junior middleweight and middleweight classes, while being a recurrent name in pound for pound rankings. He retired in 2014 after being stopped by Miguel Cotto. In 2020, after six years in retirement, Martinez returned to boxing committed to be a world champion again. Since then, Martinez has fought five times, winning all of them against low level competition.
But now, Martinez is classified as third in AMB official rankings and he thinks that a fight might happen soon against either the super champion Gennady Golovkin, or regular champion Erislandy Lara.
“I aim to fight Gennady Golovkin”, Martinez said. “Maybe my manager will aim at Lara. But I know that a fight with Lara might be super boring. Lara gets on his bike and dances around you, moving and moving, so it would be an ugly fight. With Golovkin, I think it would be a nice fight to see, even if he can break me into pieces, or not”.
Actually, Martinez bets on him to give a good fight against Golovkin.
“It is complete madness, I know, but I have all the faith in me that I can give an extraordinary fight against Golovkin”, Martinez said. “And I need to (fight at a great level), because If I don’t, I will die or he will kill me. With Golovkin, there is a good match of styles, I think we could give a great fight. I need to perform at an extraordinary level to win it. I have all the faith in me, and I know it’s crazy, because if I don’t, Golovkin will kill me and destroy me”.
Martinez is aware of his age. He is 47, but his potential opponents will also be above 40 when the time comes for the fight. In April, Erislandy Lara will turn 40 years old, and Gennady Golovkin will be 41.
“I am eight years older than Lara, and almost the same as Golovkin”, Martinez explained. “I will turn 48 years old in February, seven more than Golovkin”.
But the Argentinian feels that age will not be a key factor in a potential fight with Golovkin or Lara.
“When two champions face each other, or a champion with a mandatory challenger, there is little difference between them”, Martinez said. “What will make a difference is the brain, not the age. It won’t even be physical fitness, because we all have a great condition at the required level for a world champion. Both Golovkin, Lara and me, if we fight each other, we will be at a very high level from a physical standpoint. But (the difference) is the head, who has a better tactic and strategy, and who has a better rest the last week before the fight”.
Martinez accepts that his level of opposition since his return to boxing has been very low, and that puts him a lower level than Golovkin or Lara. But Sergio emphasizes that that is only “for now”.
“I’m still not at the level of Golovkin or Lara, for now”, Martinez conceded. “Because the level of opposition that I have had is inferior, and sometimes very inferior. But I needed contact with the ring, with the ropes, the referee. I needed friction, I needed an opponent attacking me, punching me, aiming to really hurt me. That is what I needed, and I know that I’m progressing and evolving in leaps and bounds”.
Sergio is aware that because of his current AMB ranking the opportunity for a world title can come at any moment. But he is also aware that it could be delayed until 2024, and by then, he will be 49 years old. However, the example of Bernard Hopkins is at hand for him.
“I understand that by being ranked as third, the world title fight might come at any moment”, Martinez said. “I can tell you that in 2023, from July onwards, I will get a world title fight. March 2024 at the latest. By then, I will be 49 years old. But well, Bernard Hopkins fought until 51, and he won his last fight at 50”.
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